Drinking Water Advisories

Current Reality

In total, First Nations communities have lifted 135 long-term drinking water advisories. Progress is as follows:

Drinking Water Advisory Update
Date of Govt. Advisory

Current # of Long-Term Advisories

Communities still impacted # of Long-Term Advisories Lifted

% completed

Sept. 15, 2022

31

28 135

81%

July 18, 2022

31

29 135

82%

May 28, 2022

34

29 132

80%

April 25, 2022

33

28 132

80%

Mar. 21, 2022

34

29 131

79%

Feb. 24, 2022

36

29 128

78%

Jan. 25, 2022

36

29 127

78%

Jan. 7, 2022

37

29 126

77%

Dec. 9, 2021

42

30 120

74%

Oct. 25, 2021

43

31 119

73.4%

Aug. 28, 2021

51

32 109

68%

Mar. 31, 2021

54

34 105

Dec. 23, 2020

58

40 98

https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1506514143353/1533317130660
Drinking Water Class Action Lawsuit
Dec. 23, 2021: APTN – Yesterday, the Federal Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba issued a joint decision approving an agreement to settle class-action litigation related to safe drinking water in First Nations communities. An appeals period of approximately 60 days will follow the courts’ approval of the settlement agreement. The class-action lawsuits could see approximately 142,000 individuals from 258 First Nations compensated, along with 120 First Nations.
July 31, 2021: Toronto Star – Tataskweyak Cree Nation, Curve Lake First Nation and Neskantaga First Nation (1995), together with the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced that an historic Agreement in Principle has been reached…to resolve national class action litigation related to safe drinking water in First Nations communities. The agreement includes the following:

  • $1.5 billion in compensation for individuals deprived of clean drinking water;
  • the creation of a $400 million First Nation Economic and Cultural Restoration Fund;
  • a renewed commitment to Canada’s Action Plan for the lifting of all long-term drinking water advisories;
  • the creation of a First Nations Advisory Committee on Safe Drinking Water;
  • support for First Nations to develop their own safe drinking water by-laws and initiatives;
  • a commitment of at least $6 billion to support reliable access to safe drinking water on reserve;
    planned modernization of Canada’s First Nations drinking water legislation.

The class included all members of First Nations whose communities were subject to a drinking water advisory for a year or longer from Nov. 8, 1996, to now. (Toronto Star, July 31, 2021)
https://nationtalk.ca/story/the-government-of-canada-reaches-an-agreement-in-principle-to-resolve-class-action-litigation-related-to-safe-drinking-water-in-first-nations-communities”

May 5, 2021: Global News – An auditor general report on access to safe drinking water in First Nations (Report 3 “Access to Safe Drinking Water in First Nations Communities— Indigenous Services Canada” released on Feb. 21, 2021 estimates that the federal government would not be able to eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations until 2023-24 and that it would take until 2025-26 to ensure long-term solutions for a stable drinking water supply in some of the affected nations.
https://www.ourcommons.ca/content/Committee/432/PACP/WebDoc/WD10867510/Action_Plans/DepartmentOfIndigenousServices-e.pdf

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